Bill O'Reilly's down to his last strike. As noted here, on his radio and TV shows yesterday, Bill propounded the theory that the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in the current Middle East conflict for fear of alienating their liberal Jewish readers. As Bill put it, liberal Jews "are all the papers have left" when it comes to significant market niches.
While Bill singled out the NY Times as the paper most loath to offend its liberal Jewish readers, he also mentioned the Boston Globe by name on his radio show. As discussed here, the NY Times came out this morning guns ablazin', so to speak, for an immediate cease-fire.
Turns out the Boston Globe has done the same thing. Excerpts from its editorial of today, While Lebanon Burns:
Bill O'Reilly got his show off to a surprising start this afternoon, with a novel theory as to why the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in criticizing Israel for its role in the current conflict. During his opening monologue O'Reilly theorized that the papers are fearful of turning off liberal Jewish readers.
As per Bill's hypothesis, papers such as the NY and LA Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post have been taking big hits in readership and profitability. With Fox News Channel's ED Hill in the studio, O'Reilly continued: "liberal Jewish readers are all [those newspapers] have left" as a significant market segment. If the papers were to be too critical of Israel, it could alienate their last remaining readership niche.
With Howard Dean floundering as leader of the Democratic Party and as Daily Kos loses influence with its Blogola scandal (probably making room for the Next Big Thing, as Kos replaced MoveOn), the Left is proving once again that it cannot form a united front against Bush for more than several months.
How could such meager opposition possibly survive? Columnist Peggy Noonan noticed something as she read ABC News' The Note: The political digest inadvertently noted who Bush's true opposition is, and it's not the Democratic Party. Said The Note, "[Mr. Bush] is going to need to be focused and impressive, not easy pickings for the Rich-Krugman-Dowd-Stewart axis."
As I read I nodded: That's exactly true. What was significant is that The Note did not designate as Mr. Bush's main and most effective foes Pelosi, Dodd, Reid, Biden, et al. Mr. Bush's mightiest competitors are columnists and a comedian with a fake-news show.
This is one reason the media is important. (Not "are important." Language evolves; usage changes; people vote with their tongues. It's not the correct "return to normality"; it's the incorrect "return to normalcy." It's not "the media are" it's "the media is." People see the media as one big thing.)
One of the central tenants of professional journalism is the notion that reporters remain objective in their analysis and reporting. Generally, it is the responsibility of a newspaper’s management to ensure that individuals who express a desire to maintain emotional and psychological distance from stories they cover are employed to report news under the title of a “journalist.” If the writer is an opinion writer, this is known as a “pundit.”
That stated, the Washington Posthosted an online “Live from Syria” chat session this past Monday on their website. The forum was conducted by a Syrian writer named Sami Moubayed. The Posts’ description of the writer is “PostGlobal Panelist/Syrian Political Analyst, Journalist and Author.” Flipping to the writer’s website and reading the “About” section, however, shows that Mr. Moubayed has some conflicts of interest when it comes to covering the Lebanon-Israel conflict. From Moubayeb’s profile:
Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
eye on building audience anticipation, and maybe a little political
gravitas, CBS sent its anchor-in-waiting Katie Couric on a six-city
promotional tour complete with town meetings. AP reporter David Bauder
compared her “listening tour” to Hillary Clinton’s, and like the former
First Lady’s sojourns, these were frantically pre-screened to be safe
and boring. (A blogger in Minneapolis had his pen confiscated.)
Couric told gossip writer
James Brady in Aspen she was going out to see “real people,” but Couric
has been doing something else at tour stops. She’s been raising money
for local cancer charities at $150 a plate. Since her husband Jay
Monahan and her sister Emily Couric died of cancer, Couric has been a
very active fundraiser for anti-cancer causes. Working with a charity
called the Entertainment Industries Foundation (EIF), she is a
co-founder of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA).
They have built a Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New
York’s Presbyterian Hospital.
In her sister’s memory, she
has pledged to serve as honorary chairwoman of a campaign to raise $100
million for a new cancer center at the University of Virginia, her alma
mater. In May, Couric gave a short commencement address at the
University of Oklahoma for an eye-popping fee of $115,000 paid by
private donors. The six-figure sum was sent directly to the UVA
charity. Will she do more six-figure speeches for charity cash?
Couric has established an
admirable record of public activism in the fight against cancer and is
to be commended for her efforts. But this also being the first time
we’ve had one of the nation’s leading news anchors have an aggressive
high-profile side career in philanthropy (we’re not counting Dan
Rather’s one-night stand helping raise $20,000 for the Democratic Party
of Travis County, Texas in 2001). Couric's activity triggers the
uncomfortable but necessary question: Is there a political conflict of
interest at play here?
The Chicago Tribune may not be, as its competitor the Chicago Sun-Times can boast, a "proud sponsor of Gay Games VII," but you wouldn't know it by its coverage.
Last Sunday, the Tribune featured eight articles referencing the Gay Games. On Monday there were five and today there are three. In fairness, some of the articles have more to do with the weather than the games, but some pieces leave no question as to where the writer stands.
Columnist Mary Schmich, for example, writes: "It's been a generation since I knowingly met a gay person for the first time. A generation since the Gay Games started. A generation of huge, encouraging changes. And still not enough has changed."
This one is truly delicious (grateful hat tip to Little Green Footballs): The International Federation of Journalists condemned Israel for attacking the headquarters of Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar. For those that are unfamiliar, this is the television station and website run by Hezbollah, the terrorist group that started this recent conflagration against Israel.
As reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency: “The International Federation of Journalists Friday condemned the Israeli bombing of the Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar, warning that the attack follows a pattern of media targeting that threatens the lives of media staff, violates international law and endorses the use of violence to stifle dissident media.”
A piece in today’s NYT lets slip a canard that has been increasingly accepted as an article of faith among many talking heads and television news cycles, and reveals that the United States forces are actually helping Iraqis by being there.
And dang it all if it isn’t the Sunnis pleading for the Americans to remain steadfast and strong this time. While this is not necessarily an encouraging development, it does dampen previous notions that the US forces are viewed strictly as occupiers, bloodthirsty killers or as incompetent and unnecessary, and are instead looked upon by the oppressed and victimized as a protecting force (along with the Iraqi police and army).
President Bush is an even greater threat to our civil liberties than that bête noire of the left, Richard Nixon. That's Morton Halperin's conclusion in a Los Angeles Times op-ed of today, Bush: Worse Than Nixon.
Halperin was once a name in the news. In 1969, then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger named Halperin to the NSA. But soon thereafter Kissinger suspected it was the dovish Halperin who leaked to the NY Times the fact that the US was secretly bombing Cambodia. The FBI began tapping his phone, and Halperin was soon gone from NSA. Perhaps Halperin's biggest claim to fame is the fact that Pres. Nixon put him on his 'Enemies List.' A red badge of courage, no pun intended, off which a person can no doubt eat for a lifetime in liberal circles.
Halperin remains active politically, serving as a senior fellow at the 'Center for American Progress.' As detailed by the invaluable Discoverthenetworks, CAP is a George Soros-funded organization founded on the risible notion that American colleges and universities are dominated by . . . conservatives."
"It's hard not to notice the clear similarities between then and now. Both the Nixon and Bush presidencies rely heavily on the use of national security as a pretext for the usurpation of unprecedented executive power.
Is university 'journalism' education anything more than training camp for liberal cadres preparing to join MSM ranks? Take, for example, this morning's op-ed in the Seattle Times by Floyd J. McKay, a journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University.
He spouts straight-from-the-Gore's-mouth alarmism about global warming, going so far as to propose that high school students be forced to view Al's flick. He also takes predictable shots at the Bush administration and talk show hosts, throwing in a particularly nasty swipe at Christian conservatives in the process. Excerpts below.
"Migrations [from farm to city] in India and elsewhere in Africa and Asia cannot be sustained at today's Western standard of living. Even at one car per family, without air conditioning and supermalls, the world's environment cannot survive the onslaught."
"I'd suggest we start by making Al Gore's slide-show movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," required viewing in every high school in the country."
We here at The Daily Iowan recently learned that the July 6 column "Minimum wage no-brainer" was largely plagiarized from a report released June 29 by the Democratic Policy Committee. On behalf of The Daily Iowan staff, I sincerely apologize and deeply regret that such a piece appeared in our newspaper.
Per staff policy, the harshest possible action has been taken against this employee, and John Heineman will no longer work for this publication. We performed an investigation of all his previous work since joining the paper in the fall of 2005. This search revealed no prior cases of plagiarism.
The New York Times ran a sycophantic story on the "success" of "Countdown" and how it has become the "centerpiece" of MSNBC's lineup. Throughout the article, columnist Bill Carter discusses Countdown's ratings only by its growth and not by actual numbers. An ignorant reader would come away thinking that Olbermann is some television star who is a real competitor in the cable news race. The only indication Carter gives of Olbermann's ratings is when he calls "Countdown" a "dot in the rearview mirror of Fox News."
He is either the leading man of MSNBC or its leading agent provocateur, but Keith Olbermann has no problem embracing either role.
“You can’t spell momentum without Olbermann — or something like that,” he said in a telephone interview, with a typical sprinkle of wry in his voice.
Q. When are special interest contributions not special interest contributions?
A. When they're made to a Democratic candidate. And the Associated Press is reporting on the matter.
No political race in my little upstate New York neck of the woods has attracted national attention in a long time - until this year. The retirement of liberal Republican Sherwood Boehlert meant an open seat in New York's 24th Congressional District. The Republicans have held the seat for many years, and continue to hold a registration edge. But in the current political climate, the Democrats apparently believe they have a genuine shot at winning, and as a result are pouring money into the race.
Last week, the media reported rather quickly on charges that conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter had plagiarized material in her writings. Will they be as quick to report that both her syndicate and her publisher believe the charges to be illegitimate?
The syndicator of Ann Coulter's newspaper columns rejected allegations that she had lifted material from other sources, saying a review of the work in question turned up nothing that merited concern.
"There are only so many ways you can rewrite a fact and minimal matching text is not plagiarism," Lee Salem, editor and president of Universal Press Syndicate, said Monday in a statement.
"Universal Press Syndicate is confident in the ability of Ms. Coulter, an attorney and frequent media target, to know when to make attribution and when not to."
Of note: while AP reporter Hillel Italie instantly jumped on the plagiarism charges against "the right-wing pundit", mentioning specific liberal web sites by name where readers could go to investigate the charges, they have failed to do so for a litany of charges made by critics against the equally vocal (but liberal) Michael Moore. Not one of the litany of charges made by sites like MooreWatch.com has been covered by the AP according to Nexis.
That didn't take long! Just yesterday I suggested readers keep in mind the MSM's bashing of Pres. Bush on his birthday the next time a liberal accused conservatives of being 'mean-spirited.' Groucho fans will know what I mean when I say: bring down the duck! On last evening's Journal Editorial Report , liberal newsie Marvin Kalb said the magic 'm-s' word in condemning the Wall Street Journal for its criticism of the New York Times.
The Journal had run an editorial, Fit and Unfit to Print [subscription required] that both explained why it had run a story on the anti-terror financial tracking program, and criticized the New York Times for doing so. For the record, the editorial explained that in contrast with the Times article, the Journal only published declassified information that had been provided them by the Treasury Department.
Today (Wed. July 5, 2006), the Los Angeles Times continues its practice of taking cheap shots and providing erroneous information about the Catholic Church (other recent examples are here, here, and here). In an oddly timed editorial, "The Vatican's Archives,"* the Times calls for more "openness" from Pope Benedict XVI and the Church regarding the Church's actions during the rise of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Ignoring the fact that the Times' position could be based on misinformation it published last month (read this), the paper has also published a flat-out error about the Church's belief of papal infallibility.
Don't know if it will still be up when you go there, but when I went to Google News Top Stories at about 2:25 PM EDT, this is the photo of Rush Limbaugh that I found, accompanying the various stories reporting that Rush will not be charged in the discovery, when recently going through customs, of a prescription medicine not in his name.
NewsBuster Noel Sheppard has written elsewhere about Google's censorship of conservative web sites, and others have accused it of a liberal slant in its selection of stories.
Readers of these columns might have noticed that I occasionally include at the foot the fact that I live in 'the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY.' To give you a flavor for what I'm talking about, consider today's op-ed page in my hometown daily, the Ithaca Journal. The Journal is a Gannett newspaper. That's the chain [led by USA Today] that, as I've documented, chose as a news editor someonewho believes calling VP Cheney 'Satan' makes for the best commencement speech ever.
There have been many complaints about how our media reports the stories from Iraq. Countless articles have been written about the selective nature of reports from the field – focusing on the negative and completely ignoring the positive. Documents uncovered in Iraq have demonstrated how the insurgents use the American media for propaganda dissemination.
Now I have uncovered something even more shocking and disgusting. Our media is using pro al-Qaeda, pro Iraqi insurgency organizations as the basis for their reports – more importantly as sources of information that is damning to our soldiers.
While researching the claims of US soldiers raping a young Iraqi woman and then killing her and her family, I came across an article from Mafkarat al-Islam via Free Arab Voice. The article cites eyewitness testimony about the US rape and murder of the Iraqi family. According to Free Arab Voice, the report was filed on Saturday night at 11:55 Makkah time.
A recent Associate Press article notes that the preliminary FBI crime report for 2005 indicates a rise in violent crime. Quoting a college criminal justice professor, the article claims the increase is due to government’s waning support of law enforcement. Even more interesting is their attempt to link this with the National Rifle Association’s increased political power:
Criminal justice experts said the statistics reflect U.S. complacency in fighting crime, a product of dramatic declines in the 1990s and the abandonment of effective programs that emphasized prevention, putting more police officers on the street and controlling the spread of guns.
At this point, how many people are interested in hearing more preachy justifications from newspaper editors about their decision to spill the beans on anti-terror programs? Yada yada yada, the sensitive balance between legitimate secrecy needs in time of war and the public's right to know. Yeah, we get it.
But there were Dean Baquet and Bill Keller, editors of the LA and NY Times respectively, with an op-ed this morning humming that tired 'on the one hand, on the other' sing song . Things reached their apotheosis of annoyingness [poetic license in the name of alliteration] when the duo approvingly cited WaPo editor Robert Kaiser editor thusly:
Should we look for Matt Lauer to close his next interview of Condi Rice by clasping her hands? Perhaps a verklempt Dick Cheney thanking Campbell Brown for "standing by me through every crisis"? Could be, judging by Al Roker's interview of Star Jones this morning.
OK. Star isn't Secretary of State. She's someone who got bounced as co-host of a televised coffee klatsch. Even so, some of the journalistic values on display were eye-brow raising. For openers, what does it say about Today's news values that the interview, stretching across two half-hours and three segments, was the longest this veteran Today watcher can remember?
And then there was the personal relationship between Al and Star. The flag first went up when Star thanked Al for having phoned her with information: "I actually remember a phone call when you saw something in the paper that I had not even seen that was pretty nasty."
As fellow NewsBuster Mithridate Ombud noted today, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll has flatly accused the Bush administration of anti-Semitism in its criticism of The New York Times for its latest leak of an anti-terror program. Claimed Carroll:
"The Times is a good target... Also, the name of the New York Times contains the word 'New York.' Many members of the president's base consider 'New York' to be a nifty code word for 'Jewish.' It is very nice for the president to be able to campaign against the Jews without (a) actually saying the word "Jew" and (b) without irritating the Israelis."
Is this an emerging MSM theme? Perhaps, judging by Chris Matthews' line of questioning on this evening's Hardball.
Yesterday, Dennis Persica of the New Orleans Times-Picayune claimed conservatives couldn't care less if journalists were gunned down. He's now posted his thoughts again (modified) at the liberal site TomPaine.com. This time, he links to a T-shirt advocating the lynching of journalists. And then I found this blog post from the same people joking about hanging people at the New York Times, giving them their "just desserts."
That is just revolting and wrong, and those people do not speak for me. Yesterday I called Persica "unhinged." Today, someone's giving him a hinge.
Sure, Tim Russert is a pillar of the great center-left media establishment. You can take the man out of Mario Cuomo's office, but you can't entirely take Mario's office out of the man. Even so, as MSM types go, Russert is among the more fair-and-balanced.
But in his Today show appearance this morning, Tim simply didn't make sense. Asked by Campbell Brown about the White House's anger at the New York Times for its latest divulging on an anti-terror program, Russert responded:
"There is no doubt this was an orchestrated campaign to try to frame this issue of national security versus the media, particularly the New York Times. It resonates with the organized Republican conservative base: taking on the media,liberal media. Remember Spiro Agnew, back in the Nixon administration: the 'nattering nabobs of negativism.'
You're having a first conversation with someone. Alright, maybe you don't agree with him, but he seems rational. Then, out of the blue, he blurts something so strange, so disconnected from reality, that you say to yourself 'whoah! - who is this guy?' And you go back and rethink everything else he had said in light of his suddenly-exposed madness.
That's what is was like watching Chris Matthews' interview of Ken Auletta on this evening's Hardball. Alright, Auletta's the media columnist of the New Yorker. So you have no illusions. This is a liberal. Even so, he seems so urbane, so calm, even reasonable. You could almost imagine having a drink and a conversation at sunset on the deck of one of those fancy Hampton houses you picture him visiting on weekends.
The New York Times’ irresponsible banking spy scoop is looking more and more like it will backfire on the paper, causing both a public relation nightmare and raising plausible legal concerns for both the leakers and the journalists they leaked to, as conservatives debate consequences for the paper's behavior.
Four days after it appeared on Friday's front page, the banking spy scoop is still roiling on Fox News and in the blogosphere. Taking the Web's temperature finds the right side enraged, engaged, and red hot, while it’s rather quiet on the left-wing front, indicating that just maybe the Times may have gone too far to rely on its usual allies to rise up in defense.
In the letters section of the Poynter Institute's Romenesko media-news site, a man named Dennis Persica, a reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune (most recent news dispatch here), wrote that with the anti-press animus of conservatives right now, it's possible that the New York Times could face a break-in by the U.S. Attorney's office. But the speculation grew much wilder, against Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin and their fans:
You can count on the Limbaughs and Malkins of the world to defend the move. Just look at these posters on Malkin's website. There is a significant portion of their fanbase who couldn't care less if every journalist in the country was simply jailed or gunned down. (Remember Ann Coulter's comments about the New York Times building?) Even supposedly saner voices, like Bill Bennett and Rep. Peter King, have joined in the chorus.
The Seer of MSNBC hath spoken: no matter how good the news might be now for President Bush, he will be in worse shape come the November elections.
That was Chris Matthews' reading of the entrails on this morning's Today show. Guest-hosting David Gregory interviewed him, and, sounding the same theme we saw over at this morning's Early Show, cast the controversy over the latest leak of an anti-terror program not as a threat to national security, but as "this attack on the New York Times."
Gregory teed up this softball for Matthews: "The question is, whether should we be taking their [the administration's] word for it, that these are legal programs? Do you think the administration, any administration, has earned the right . . . to protect that kind of secret?"